The edition of the Passion according to Saint Matthew (Mt 26-28) nearly finished

The Jerusalemite offices of the Bible in its Traditions are bubbling of effervescence. Most of the research assistants are entering the final stretch completing the edition of St. Matthew’s Passion. Since 2005, under the direction of Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, the main contributor, with the constant assistance of Dr. Bieke Mahieu, dozens of researchers have collaborated in this project, which has been the real experimental laboratory of The Bible in its Traditions.

In 2018, the decision was taken to stick to the scientific material collected over the years to launch the printed edition. The Peeters brothers encouraged us, proposing to publish what will have all the makings of a Matthean encyclopedia of the Passion in a work of two or three volumes in our collection.

After systematic proofreading by the editorial committee and various assistants, Bieke Mahieu prepared the texts for layout and printing, with her usual high level of precision. Up to the penultimate stage, all the work is done online, on our collaborative platform, which is constantly being perfected by Fr. Kevin Stephens.

In August 2019 the team sent Chapter 26 to Peeters Publishing and at the end of January 2020 Chapter 27 followed. The Editorial Board and assistants are currently working on the completion of Chapter 28, and hundreds of summary notes related to the Passion ”in its Traditions”, for the month of May. It is hoped to have the whole set published by November 2020, for a launch at the Society of Biblical Literature session in Boston on the 21st and 24th of that month.

In total: 5 versions (the Byzantine text, the Textus Receptus, the Nestle-Aland, the Vulgate and the Peshitta) of Saint Matthew’s Passion translated and compared, 28 themes treated (from text criticism to … dance!), produced by more than 60 contributors. The students of the École Normale of this year, Pauline Micos, Geoffroy Aujay de la Dure and Arthur Lesage, are busy proofreading and, at times, rewriting the notes for chapter 28.

Beginning of the editing process for the Epistle of James

Another very advanced project of The Bible in its Traditions is the English edition of the Epistle of James, whose translations and annotations have been made by prof. Martin Albl (Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI). Joseph Ahmad, our assistant from Notre Dame University, and Fr. Łukasz Popko, director of the editorial board of BEST, are responsible for this project. Together with the Committee, they meet every week to refine the translation of the Latin and Greek texts and to measure the progress of the enterprise.

For his part, Joseph rereads and corrects the annotations to bring them into line with the standards of the collection, occasionally enriching certain notes. He also enters into our database the bibliography of the upcoming critical edition. The editorial work around this text and its variants has a very particular flavor in the context of Jerusalem today.

“It is interesting that the Greek text has more mystical and philosophical overtones than the usual English translations, which place greater emphasis on ethics and morality. I am also interested in the Jewish dimensions of the epistle, which are illustrated in our notes. Obviously James himself was Jewish – and, if Hegesippus is correct, a member of priestly caste. It is only natural, then, that the type of language used by James is so peculiar. He wrote in Greek, but with a semitic spirit.” – Joseph